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"Fires were set by a terrorist organisation" claims national fire chief

fireThe commander of the Portuguese League of Fire Brigades, Jaime Marta Soares, said that the number of fires set deliberately this past weekend goes beyond any established pattern displayed by arsonists, and suggested that a ‘terrorist organisation’ is behind these tragedies.

The seemingly careful selection of multiple incendiary points to create large fires, led Soares to comment, "I believe that there is a terrorist organisation that is premeditated and organised to set fire to our country, it is a way of creating instability,"

Soares said that fires kill workers, land and equipment and damage our rural economy. Therefore it is necessary to investigate and analyse all of the questions raised to find out who’s behind the fires.

The fire chief also called on the "political leaders of this country, who quickly should reflect on what they should have done, but did not do."

Defensive of those of his firemen that are volunteers, there has been criticism that this group therefore is untrained, Soares called for more equipment and the creation of "strategies at least to reduce the damage in this situation."

"When nature is like this, nothing scientifically can fight it," said Soares, adding "a word of solidarity and friendship to the families that lost their loved ones, but also to the mayors who are going through terrible times and to the Portuguese firemen, who continue in a stoic way, to fight against an angry nature."

With the death from the weekend fires now at 31, the best the Minister of Internal Administration could come up with is that "we need to think seriously about the Civil Protection system and the forests, which will take a lot of time."

Constança Urbano de Sousa said there is no way she was resigning, "This is a time for action, running away would be the easiest way out" and that she was using her holiday time to be available.

Probed by journalists, the minister replied three times that a resignation "would not solve the problem," reminding journalists that hers is a difficult job and adding that "It's going to take a long time for us to have an orderly forest."

PM António Costa said it was childish to even consider sacking the minister - he recalled her being "committed to her work,” while he took the opportunity to praise firefighters and send his condolences to those affected.

The death toll stands at 31.

 

FireBigBombeirosShot

Photo of a forest fire taken by Hélio Madeiras, a firefighter for 19 years and since 2005 in the Special Unit Canarinhos

5:00 pm on Sunday in Vieira de Leiria (D.R.)

Comments  

+4 #10 Jack Reacher 2017-10-17 14:15
Quoting marjolein Massis:
Setting fires is a crime but not unnatural. For hundreds of years it has been a normal thing to do. First to clean your land for a new crop. Smaller landowners could and cannot afford machines. When you are badly treated by a rich landowner, the Camara or the Government you cannot do anything much. Only burn his or her land. Land will produce income and often the bond with land is very emotional. So, to destroy it really
hurts. Arsonists are not so often mentally sick. They just seek revenge, make the value of the land less if they want to buy it or are economical in cleaning the land. Only when Portugal gets better laws, better and faster legal system, better understanding and help for the old, the poor and the mentally ill and really fight corruption, 90% of the arsonist will not feel the need to burn the land.


We are in the 21st century, but Portugal may still be in the medieval ages when it comes to land management and clearing. Not sure if all the arsonists of Europe live in Portugal or that's it's part of the educational curriculum to burn down areas of forestry but whatever the reason it has to be dealt with severely. National mourning won't help because in the summer of 2018 we will have to go through this all again.
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+6 #9 chez 2017-10-17 10:24
The only people to blame for the spread of fires is the morons who continue to plant trees right up to the edge of highways and plantations without firebreaks and the politicians who allow it to happen. I thought the planting of eucalyptus had been banned but is obviously not being enforced as I am surrounded by acres of new eucalyptus plantations.
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+9 #8 Richard 2 2017-10-17 10:09
Quoting marjolein Massis:
Setting fires is a crime but not unnatural. For hundreds of years it has been a normal thing to do. First to clean your land for a new crop. Smaller landowners could and cannot afford machines. When you are badly treated by a rich landowner, the Camara or the Government you cannot do anything much. Only burn his or her land. Land will produce income and often the bond with land is very emotional. So, to destroy it really
hurts. Arsonists are not so often mentally sick. They just seek revenge, make the value of the land less if they want to buy it or are economical in cleaning the land. Only when Portugal gets better laws, better and faster legal system, better understanding and help for the old, the poor and the mentally ill and really fight corruption, 90% of the arsonist will not feel the need to burn the land.

I agree with your comment. I really don't understand why others find objections.
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+9 #7 marjolein Massis 2017-10-16 21:44
Setting fires is a crime but not unnatural. For hundreds of years it has been a normal thing to do. First to clean your land for a new crop. Smaller landowners could and cannot afford machines. When you are badly treated by a rich landowner, the Camara or the Government you cannot do anything much. Only burn his or her land. Land will produce income and often the bond with land is very emotional. So, to destroy it really
hurts. Arsonists are not so often mentally sick. They just seek revenge, make the value of the land less if they want to buy it or are economical in cleaning the land. Only when Portugal gets better laws, better and faster legal system, better understanding and help for the old, the poor and the mentally ill and really fight corruption, 90% of the arsonist will not feel the need to burn the land.
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+11 #6 nogin the nog 2017-10-16 19:24
Hmm
About time some one stood up to be counted. The Commander should be able to call on the army for help. The minister of internal administration is a pen pusher, who is totally out of touch with reality.. God help the fire fighters because this government isn't ..
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+8 #5 Jack Reacher 2017-10-16 18:37
That's the kind of remark Drumpf would make to cover his own incompetency. Truth is Mr. Soares you haven't got a clue what you are doing and for too long you have allowed arsonists born and bred in Portugal to set fire to unmanaged countryside. Sort it out and put a stop to this national disaster that makes Portugal look like some kind of sap in Europe. We are fed up with it.
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+6 #4 Laurinda 2017-10-16 18:25
I agree with the chief ... this is well planned state capture in real time. Our gov should sell its submarines and invest in proper fire protection and prevention. Mobilize the army for heavens sake ... what the eck are they doing anyway while being paid by taxpayers funds?

This is an all out attack ...
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+5 #3 Maximillian 2017-10-16 18:19
It's called geo engineering and it goes way beyond chemtrails :sad:
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+3 #2 Charly 2017-10-16 17:32
Does Soares not know that in Portugal fires are set every day of the year . And as from his luxurious office did the man not noticed that these days we have quite violent winds swapping over the country ?
Probably Soares thinks that are the "arsonists ghosts".........
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+7 #1 TT 2017-10-16 17:11
This is a terribly sad state of affairs and anyone setting fires for whatever reason seriously needs their head examined. Or possibly removed?
But what doesn't help is the authorities' insistence of sticking to old practices, however flawed. As happens every year, 236 early-warning watch towers were stood down on the 1st October. How much damage could have been prevented (and lives saved) had common sense prevailed at least until the rains came?
https://www.tsf.pt/sociedade/interior/todos-os-236-postos-de-vigia-contra-incendios-estao-fechados-desde-1-de-outubro-8830693.html
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